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When I ping any local windows hostname from my Ubuntu machine I get "unable to resolve host", but when I ping from a windows machine it works fine. Why would this be?

OS: Ubuntu 10.04 Samba & Miredo are installed

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To ping a netbios name in Ubuntu you need to add wins to /etc/nsswitch.conf. Run:

gksu gedit /etc/nsswitch.conf

And add wins to the line:

hosts:          files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4

So it looks like this:

hosts:          files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns wins mdns4

Save the file, close the text editor, and ping away.


An excerpt from my smb.conf which is located at /etc/samba/smb.conf.

Note wins in the last section.

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I added wins but that didn't change anything. However, I noticed that if I add ".local" after some names it works (with or without the wins setting)... Do you know what's going on there? – David Feb 24 '11 at 5:38
plus in addition to nejode's answer (thanks nejode) I would also check your smb.conf I have added mine to my answer for comparison. – Allan Feb 24 '11 at 13:27
what you need to verify in the smb.conf is that your workgroup is the same as the one in the windows station – Dror Cohen Apr 27 '12 at 17:35
The Paste you are looking for does not currently exist. – ulidtko Aug 11 '14 at 13:37
@David: That's using the Avahi system to resolve your names, which the mdns4 directives specify. That's a different system than Samba, so if you want Samba to work, you have to keep testing without the .local domain. – palswim Apr 1 at 19:37

Follow the instructions Allan posted, but you need to install the "winbind" (Samba nameservice integration server) package too so you can get name resolution.

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Running apt-get install winbind fixed it for me.

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You may have to install the package libnss-winbind to be able to find windows computers by hostname. Simply installing winbind may not work. See answer.

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Beautiful, worked for me on Ubuntu 14.04. Installing winbind by itself didn't work. – Jon Onstott Apr 23 '14 at 16:22

Had the same problem, Ubuntu 14.04 trying to access PC with Windows 8. In addition to above recommendation I had to install libnss-winbind

sudo apt-get install libnss-winbind


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If you have edited your /etc/nsswitch.conf file and installed winbind already (libnss-winbind or samba-winbind) and still have problems, you may need to disable your NSCD (Name Service Cache Daemon).

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